Blog Archive: 2009

Communicating about Collaboration

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What does it mean to collaborate while searching?

There are many different ways to characterize collaborative information seeking, many dimensions on which collaborative search systems can be categorized.

For the past few years Jeremy Pickens and I have been thinking that our model of collaborative exploratory search needs some further explication. Or maybe we’re just trying to understand it better ourselves. We have found that to explain what our model is, we have to simultaneously explain what our model is not.  This has led to numerous discussions not only about the various dimensions of collaboration, but also about the relative importance among those dimensions for distinguishing between systems.

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Models of interaction, part 1

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Recently, I’ve been involved in a lot of discussions about exploratory search on this blog and in comments on The Noisy Channel. One way to look at exploratory search (and there are many others!) is to separate issues of interaction from issues of retrieval. The two are complementary: for example, recently Daniel Tunkelang posted about using sets rather than ranked lists as a way of representing search results. This has implications on one hand for how the retrieval engine identifies promising documents, and on the other for how results are to be communicated to the user, and how the user should interact with them.

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